Addendum to a Letter to My Vegan Friends

I make this one pretty often. It’s a big batch veggie stew based on ratatouille, but with even less finesse. Right here is a family dinner and lunches for about a week for my faux vegetarian child. She claimed vegetarian status years ago, but insisted it included every variety of Chinese pork dumplings, hot dogs and her babysitter’s West Indies chicken, peas & rice. Too representative of her personality for the rest of us to let it go, then or now…and she hasn’t said it in about a decade.

I like to pop this in the oven so I don’t have to watch the heat, but it works stovetop just fine. I throw beans into the mix to up the protein, but it’s not necessary. Fresh herbs are a great addition. Soft ones like parsley and basil get added at the end. Throw sprigs of woody thyme or oregano right on top, then remove the strands before serving. If I were its only customer, I’m pretty sure pitted olives, green or black, might find their way into the pot.

Non vegans will love this with cheese, parmesan, ricotta or bocconcini.

1 red onion, chunked

3 cloves garlic, sliced, smashed or minced

1 large eggplant, chunked

2 small to medium zucchini, chunked

1 large or 2 small yellow squash, chunked

1 can or jar white beans

1 large can tomatoes in juice, squished into chunks

Olive oil

Salt, pepper

*Optional- fresh or dried oregano, fresh basil, chopped parsley

Preheat oven 350

In large heavy bottom pan over medium heat add olive oil and onion. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add garlic. Cook 2 minutes, then add all of the other ingredients. Tomato lovers add all of the liquid from the can. If you’re on the fence, add what satisfies your taste, using water if necessary to make up the difference. Bring to a boil, put a lid on it and into the oven. If cooking stovetop, turn down to a simmer. 30 minutes should do it.

Enjoy this one, too–B

Published by Betsy Karetnick

Dynamic lifestyle broadcaster, journalist, and media expert. Brand builder. Innovator. Producer. Experienced in business development and all aspects of media. Extensive experience on a national platform attracting and retaining an audience by mixing entertainment and education on lifestyle issues including cooking, cleaning, crafting, organizing, personal finance and dining out. Owner and operator of The Portable Garden, northern New Jersey's premier source for exclusive custom event design, special event flowers, container gardens and small scale landscape installations.

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